This picture (which I nicked from the lovely Ms. Snarker) fills me with joy. And it's not just because I respect and admire and love both Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet to itty bitty pieces (although I do), but because it is a picture of two women who are colleagues, competitors, and allies, who enjoy one another's company and have a great fondness and regard for each other, and this picture does not try to tell any other story besides that.
It does not try to frame the older Ms. Streep as jealous of the younger Ms. Winslet. It does not try to frame the younger Ms. Winslet as stronger or more beautiful than the older Ms. Streep. It does not try to convey a passing of the torch, or the end of one career, or the beginning of another. It does not imply a mother-daughter relationship. It does not suggest that women cannot be both friends and competitors. It does not suggest that all women, deep down, are threatened by each other, that all kindness among women is phony, that sisterhood is a silly myth.
This picture tells a truth about two women that is rarely told. This picture has no agenda—and it is because so very few pictures of two women do that I love it as much as I do.
(…Even as I am aware it is a picture of two white, Western, wealthy, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, thin, blonde, beautiful women. But it's a start. Teaspoons.)